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Updated on February 14, 2012

What do Americans really want?

A recent poll conducted by PrincetonSurvey Research Associates International shed some light on what has been known for many years. American's still don't know what they want.

Mitt Romney was trash talked by Newt Gingrich over a comment he made; "he was not concerned about the very poor because they had a safety net", referring to entitlements. Taken out of context, it put Romney in a bad position, but in reality, he said something that most Americans think and feel.

Take the poll results, 51% of middle class felt they were hit the hardest by the economic turn of events. 45% of the poor felt it was they who suffered more and yes, hold on to your socks, 1% of the wealthy felt they were.

And even with the numbers, out, overall, the realization was that Americans are concerned with the fact that federal entitlements for the poor and the growing dependency on them. Finally, something that we can all agree on.

  • To many people rely on federal assistance.
  • We are being taxed too much for federal programs.
  • Some think the federal government doesn't provide enough.
  • Some are concerned that too many people getting federal assistance don't need it and simply abuse it.

Now that we all agree and yes, even the third item. We have all at one time or another thought that this one or that one is a good program, but it doesn't provide enough and maybe it needs to be changed and by removing something and adding something else, it would be a good program.

With all that said, when Americans were asked about what to do, it showed exactly what the problem is: we dont' want to give up those things that we have grown accustomed to. Don't touch Social Security and Medicare. And surprisingly enough, most agreed that we need the federal programs, especially during these tough economic times.

So, where do we go from here? To the polls in November.



See results


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  • Davesworld profile image

    Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

    J Elaine,

    Years ago I read the bureaucratic cost was 68 cents on the dollar. That is for every dollar spent on welfare, 68 cents was absorbed by administrative costs leaving only 32 cents for the recipient. It's probably higher now.

  • Abecedarian profile image

    Abecedarian 5 years ago from These United States, Texas

    Well I can't fault the worker, their health care that they pay for, penisons or vacations because it's their jobs. Now the big wigs at that top, I'm sure they abuse it as much as some of those that receive federal entitlements. Like all programs, they start out helping those in need and quickly the corrupt find a way in to make a profit.

  • J Elaine profile image

    J Elaine 5 years ago from Northern Minnesota

    I think the thing most people overlook is he hidden costs of the entitlement programs. How much of the tax dollars spent on these massive bureaucracies (I hate that word cuz I can never remember how to spell it!) goes to the people who need it and how much goes to the administration of it? All these government workers, their health care, pensions, vacations etc. Nobody knows.

  • Davesworld profile image

    Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

    Larry, absolutely. We can;t just pull the plug - see Greece. Likewise, we can;t continue things as they are as entitlement spending is already the lion's share of the federal budget. This is a multi-year, possibly mutli-decade project to get things straightened out.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 5 years ago

    I voted maybe on this because after observing government for so many years, I know that there is no black and white answer to the issues facing us. Everything, falls in that gray area.

    We have to reduce spending. We have to set priorities based on need and cost and we have to realize that we need to retool our economy in a way that will keep jobs in the United States, encourage the development of new industry and take advantage of the resources of this country. Too often we as a nation look for the quick fix. There is no such thing. It is going to take time, probably years, before we are back on the right track. Examining entitlements is a good first step, but the key word is to examine and then decide and not to grant them cart blanch.